What Primary Leaders and Teachers Need To Know About Ofsted's Research Report In Geography

On June 17th, Ofsted released their research review into high quality geography curriculums. It’s taken me some time to get through it all, as it’s packed with interesting and important considerations for leaders and teachers. I’ve put what I consider to be the most relevant information for those of us in the primary sector into this blog post. You can read the full report by clicking here.

The report strikes me as being the most in-depth of the research reports which have been released so far. It contains lots of background information which I think is both relevant and informative for primary teachers, particularly those who aren’t subject specialists. I intend to use the report’s implications when we are considering the improvements we wish to make to our provision, and I look forward to sharing some of these once they are established. The report itself took a long time to read, and whilst I’ve tried to reduce the information to be more easily digestible, it’s taken almost 3000 words to do so. For that matter, here are the top three takeaways from the report.

🧠 Leaders and teachers need to carefully consider, select and sequence the content they want their pupils to learn. This content should be organised into manageable chunks, building into connected, composite ideas. Pupils need to learn about a wide range of ideas and contexts.

🪢 Geographical understanding comes from an appreciation of the key content and how ideas are related together. Individual components contribute to understanding of key concepts.

📚 It is vital that teachers develop their subject knowledge in order to be able to deliver a high-quality curriculum.

Jump to the relevant section:

What is Geography?

What should the geography curriculum include?

Geographical Concepts

Types of Geographical Knowledge

Disciplinary Knowledge

Map Skills

Curriculum as the Progression Model

Thinking Like A Geographer


Choosing Examples





Expectations for SEND Pupils

Pupils’ Interest and Motivation


Subject Leadership


Non-specialist Teachers